Fraser Department of Public Safety Director Michael Pettys retired from service after 26 years with the department.

Fraser Department of Public Safety Director Michael Pettys retired from service after 26 years with the department.

Photo by Brendan Losinski

Fraser director of public safety retires

By: Brendan Losinski | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published September 9, 2021


FRASER — On Aug. 20, Fraser Director of Public Safety Michael Pettys retired from the department after 26 years of service.

His role will be filled on a temporary basis by Lt. David Bisby, who is expected by city officials to be officially appointed to Director of Public Safety later this month.

Pettys said he looks back most fondly on the relationships he has made while with the department.

“The personal connections I’ve made with the officers here and the relationships are something I’m proud of. I met my wife here,” he remarked. “I couldn’t have asked for better people to work with.”

He added that he has no particular plans in retirement beyond taking some time to relax and finishing some long-delayed personal projects.

“I really don’t have any plans. I’m going to take six months off and take care of some personal projects. I don’t want to be the guy who retires on Friday and starts another job on Monday,” Pettys said. “Both my kids are off to college, so (my wife and I) will be empty-nesters. We’ll have a lot of time to get things done.”

Pettys rose through the ranks after starting as a patrolman.

“I started in 1995 with the Fraser Department of Public Safety,” he explained. “I came on as a patrolman and was promoted in 2002 to sergeant and in 2011 to lieutenant. I was appointed the director in 2018. It was a great run. I’m excited to be leaving but sad to no longer be working with the people here.”

Elaine Leven, the Fraser city manager, said Pettys was a great person to work with despite the short time they were in their respective positions together.

“I’ve only worked with (Chief Pettys) for a little over a month,” she said. “In the time I’ve had with him, I’ve seen that he’s a very kind, caring person who cares about the city of Fraser. He has a great relationship with everyone we have in the department. We’ll miss him and his years of experience.”

Sgt. Ben Hoppe worked with Pettys for more than two decades and lauded his leadership and skill as a law enforcement officer.

“He’s a very caring and compassionate person,” Hoppe said. “He cares about his people, and you know that when you work with him. I’ve been here for 21 years now, and he’s the best chief we’ve had here by far. He has a succession plan he’s been laying out; he cares about everything all the way up to the last day. A lot of people don’t and when it’s time to leave, they just check out. He has not been checked out for one minute.”

Leven said the decision to appoint Bisby as the next permanent director of public safety will likely take place on Thursday, Sept. 9, after press time.

“(The decision of appointing a new chief) goes through the civil services commission,” she said. “They have gone through the testing process and need to certify the results. They then go to the city council to officially make the appointment. … Lt. Bisby is the only applicant for the position.”

“Lt. Bisby has been training to take over the director position,” Hoppe said. “There is a succession plan that he has been following, and Lt. Bisby has been getting ready to take over the reins of the department and Director Pettys has prepared him for that. He’s … more than ready, and we are all very confident in him.”

“Dave (Bisby) is a super smart guy,” Pettys added. “He will do a fantastic job here. He knows the city well, and he knows the staff well and is the perfect fit for the department moving forward.”

Pettys said he will greatly miss the people he got to work with and serve.

“It’s a great community. I’ve had a great career here, and I’ve met amazing people here in the city. I’ve formed a lot of friendships. Some of the nicest, kindest, hard-working people I know are from Fraser.”